The Career and Writings of Demetrius Kydones

A Study of Fourteenth-Century Byzantine Politics, Religion and Society

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The second half of the fourteenth century was a period of rapid change in the Eastern Mediterranean, principally due to the expansion into Europe of the Ottoman Turks. Demetrius Kydones was one of the key Byzantine political and intellectual figures of the time, and his writings are regarded as one of the most important sources for study of the period. Kydones’ career spanned at least four decades, from the 1340s to the 1380s. A Latin scholar, influenced in particular by the writings of Thomas Aquinas (some of which he translated into Greek), Kydones was a leading advocate of improvement of relations between Byzantium and the Latin West as crucial to Byzantine survival. This book examines Kydones’ career and writings, investigating how they can contribute to developing a nuanced understanding of Byzantine political and cultural developments in these years of crisis.
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Biographical Note

Dr Judith Ryder is currently Research fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford. Her research interests include Byzantine history, theology and culture, particularly of the 11th and 14th centuries. Her thesis on Demetrius Kydones won the 2006 Hellenic Foundation prize for best UK thesis in the Byzantine/Modern Greek category.

Table of contents

CONTENTS
Acknowledgements ... ix
Abbreviations ... xi
Introduction ... xiii

Section One: Intellectual context
Introduction ... 3

Chapter One. Demetrius’ Intellectual Background ... 5
* The Primary Context:The Byzantine Background ... 5
* The Secondary Context:Western Texts ... 13
* Demetrius’ Latin Studies ... 13
* The Evidence ... 15
TheWriters/Texts ... 16
Aquinas ... 16
Augustinian Texts ... 20
Boethius ... 24
Further texts ... 26
* The Western Material: Observations ... 28

Section two: ideas and preoccupations
Introduction ... 41
The Sources: Demetrius’Writings to c. 1371 ... 42

Chapter Two. The Political Sphere ... 49
* Demetrius’ Understanding of Imperial Office and His
Relationship withHis Imperial Patrons ... 49
* Foreign Policy (Excluding Relations with the LatinWest) ... 57
* The TurkishThreat ... 57
* Bulgarians and Serbs ... 63
* Hungarians andMongols ... 67
* Foreign Policy:The Latins ... 70

Chapter Three. The Religious Sphere ... 83
* Key Principles and Ideas ... 83
* Faith and Revelation ... 84
* The Sources of Revelation: Interplay of Scripture,
‘Fathers’ and ‘Councils’ ... 85
* Methodology: Infallibility and Fallibility; Determining
Authoritative Sources ... 88
* Methodology: Defending the Latins ... 90
* Methodology:The Status ofHuman Reason ... 92
* ‘Fathers’ and ‘Councils’: Practical Issues ... 96
* Specific Issues ... 103
* The Church, East andWest ... 103
* The Filioque ... 118
* Palamas ... 124

Section three: historical context and implications
Introduction ... 131

Chapter Four. The Extent of ‘Publicity’ ... 133
* Channels for Circulation ... 133
* TheManuscript Evidence ... 133
* Further Evidence of Circulation ... 136
* PoliticalThemes ... 148
* Demetrius andHis Imperial Patrons ... 148
* Foreign Policy ... 153
The TurkishThreat ... 153
International Relations (Excluding the Latins) ... 156
International Relations:The Latins ... 157
* ReligiousThemes ... 160
* General Attitudes to theWest, Including the Papacy ... 160
* Specific Doctrinal Issues ... 161
The Filioque ... 161
Palamism, Philotheos and theHesychasts ... 162
* Normative Relations ... 165
Conclusions ... 168

Chapter Five. Contextualising Demetrius’ Pro-western Approach ... 169
Introduction ... 169
* The General Background: Byzantine-papal/Byzantine-Latin Relations ... 171
* Demetrius’ Role in Developments ... 184
* The Credibility of the Pro-western Propaganda ... 205

Chapter Six. Orthodox Developments ... 221
Introduction ... 221
* Divisions within Orthodoxy ... 221
* TheHesychast Background ... 221
* The Repercussions of the CivilWar ... 228
* Philotheos and Demetrius in the Late s ... 232
* Indications of Strength? ... 239
* ‘Orthodox Universalism’ and Relations with Other
Orthodox Sees ... 241
Serbia/Peç ... 243
Bulgaria/Trnovo ... 245
Russia/Kiev ... 247
* ‘InternationalHesychasm’ ... 250
Conclusions ... 258

Conclusion ... 265
Select Bibliography ... 269
General Index ... 281
Manuscripts mentioned ... 289
Index of Letters of Demetrius Kydones cited ... 291
Original works of named authors/translations cited in the text ... 293

Readership

Those interested in Late Byzantine history and theology, medieval Latin-Greek political, religious and intellectual contacts, ecumenism and Aquinas.

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